Japanese rugby’s ‘One Team’ motto declared buzzword of 2019

“One Team,” Japan’s slogan for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, was picked buzzword of the year on Monday after the Brave Blossoms thrilled fans with their historic advance to the top eight.

The annual awards are announced in early December, when the top buzzword is selected from words or phrases in the media that reflected the year’s trends in politics, business, culture, sports and other fields.

The event also recognizes individuals and organizations representative of the winning word or phrase.

During the tournament from Sept. 20 to Nov. 2, the Japanese team made history by making it to the quarterfinals, where they lost 3-26 to South Africa, this year’s champion.

What held the 31-member multinational team together was the “One Team” motto set forth under head coach Jamie Joseph. The term has since caught on in areas outside the realm of sports, including in business.

During the Nov. 18 news conference on the merger between Yahoo Japan and Line Corp., for example, Kentaro Kawabe, president and CEO of Z Holdings, Yahoo Japan’s parent, said, “We are aiming to build a powerful ‘One Team.’”

The nine other candidates chosen from the shortlist of 30 nominees include Reiwa, the name of the new imperial era under Emperor Naruhito, keigen zeiritsu (reduced tax rate), temporary government measure to soften the impact of the consumption tax hike to 10 percent, and keikaku unkyū (planned train cancellation), an unusual step taken by the nation’s railways to ensure passenger safety ahead of Typhoon Faxai in September and Typhoon Hagibis in October.

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